We are looking to ride up in that area in August/Sept '19
Last week I went on my annual Algonquin Park trip on the NC750x, spending two days in the park then heading south to Emily Provincial Park near Peterborough for a couple days. Here’s my trip notes
Thurs, Sept. 27 - Day 1
Gassed up the bike & a 1 litre MSR bottle at a local station. I was successful in spilling gas from the gas tank and the MSR bottle, the result of my typical pre-tour jitters? By 11:30 I was ready to go up the 417 to the hwy 60 on a direct route to Algonquin Provincial Park’s Lake of Two Rivers campground. I decided to forgo the fun of the Opeongo road, a popular biker’s road (route 132) built in 1854 though Foymount, Ontario’s highest settlement at a lofty 1,600 feet above sea level.
There was lots of new power poles being put up along the route- probably due to the tornadoes which hit Eastern Ontario the week before. Heading to Wilno (Canada’s earliest Polish settlement at 1898) I had a bit of excitement when the pickup in front of my dropped part of his load. I missed what looked like a garbage bag & large box, but the oil truck behind creamed them. Got the pickup driver’s attention, but he didn’t seem to care- guess he was heading to the dump. Next rode by the popular Wilno Tavern (where the waitresses still chat to each other in Polish) and into Barry’s Bay for gas where a replica of the CF-105 Avro Arrow is on display in Żurakowski Park in honour of it’s chief test pilot.
From Barry’s bay a short 1 hour ride (including ~ 5 kms of dirt one lane due to construction) to Algonquin Park Lake of two rivers campground for a two night stay. When I got to the campsite at 4 pm I noticed an all dressed BMW GS at another campsite (OEM panniers, top box & driving lights). Of course I went to chat with it’s owner, Dave and his daughter. He bought the bike last year to replace his previous oilhead, & really liked the extra power. I laughingly told him my NC made an honest 55 hp..
Riders get a free bear locker to store food. I highly recommend getting one since on last year’s trip I swore I heard a bear snort close by me in the middle of the night.
Friday Day 2
Today’s a ‘off’ day so I decided to hike the two river’s trail in the morning. The trail was interesting, but the guidebook was terrible. Their example of forest fire was a single sapling that burnt in 1972. You’d need a forensic expert to find it.
In the afternoon, the rains came so I spent it reading in the hammock. About three pm I gave up, so down to the campground’s restaurant for an $15 cheeseburger with a platter of fries. It started to clear in the evening, producing a 2 degree C (36F) night. It wasn’t bad with my synthetic top and bottom quilts, although I did add an insulated blanket for the predawn cold snap.
Saturday Day 3
Today was a riding day, with the forecast of rain. The guy the next campsite over was a Harley rider who suggested a route down to Emily Provincial park. It was the same route I plotted out pre-trip the - 35, 118 & 507. Coming out of the park the trees were changing. I didn’t notice so much where I camped because the eastern part of the park is mainly softwoods, while there’s more hardwood on the western side. It had some beautiful views.
Riding was twisty, cold & I hit some spotty rain (but I missed the major rain). Passed through the the little village of Dorset, which has a colourful history. It’s first (western) settler, Zac Cole wanted his coffin made of tamarack, because it burned loud & he wanted the rest of hell to know he’d arrived.
Lots of 4-5 rider groups were out on the 507 north of Peterborough. Talking to a local rider in Buckhorn I learned it’s one of the better riding roads in Ontario.
Riding into Peterborough a pickup pulls out and within a kilometre drops a feed bag off the back about 300 meters in front of me. Fortunately it was an easy miss but I did notice a pellet of chicken feed in one of my panniers once I got home. Is it me attracts this or sloppy pickup drivers?
Emily wasn’t the greatest campsite I’ve been at. The RVer’s have a really nice shower/toilet building and good sites, but the campers get an ‘outhouse’ and a fairly open campsite with not a lot of privacy, but with only three sites occupied I didn’t scandalize my neighbours (much). Took me a few tries to find the best trees to hang the hammock.
Sunday Day 4
Woke up to the sounds of waterfowl and -fireworks? Ah, duck season! Shotguns then. Had breakfast and find something on the picnic table; poop- a red squirrel’s been checking out my cooler. Clean up the table and just before noon head into Peterborough for Wendy’s & some liniment for a sore shoulder. Caught the next day’s weather forecast. Rain predicted.
Once back at the park I realized the other campers had gone & I had the entire tenting section to myself. Checked out the bike, and moved the cooler onto it. Let the squirrel climb the Honda if it wants to get to my remaining food. It started raining early that evening and didn’t stop most of the night. But I stayed warm and dry, so a good night.
Monday Day 5
Time to go home. It was still raining when I got up, so packing was a slow process of trying to keep as much stuff dry as I could. My packing arrangement degraded to ‘where’s the easiest place to fit it in?’. The route would be easy, basically Hwy 7 all the way home so I decided I didn’t need the GPS. Stopped in Peterborough on last time for gas, and went. Stopped in Kaladar to fill up again at the same station I used last trip. The riding started off wet but slowly I rode out of the system. Hwy 7’s speed limit is 80kph, but most drivers aren’t happy at less than 100 kph. I liked 80 kph more so I could enjoy the sights, so I’d wave people by when there was a chance. Once I got to the 417 just past Carleton Place the pace picked up for the run into Ottawa. Got home about 3:30 pm, phoned my wife & started to unpack to dry my stuff for the next trip...
Last edited by HarveyM; 5th October 2018 at 18:28.
We are looking to ride up in that area in August/Sept '19
Thanks! Are any specific desintations or is too early in the planning stage?
lue42 used a route through Michigan he liked- Upcoming tour - questions for experienced tourers?
Last edited by HarveyM; 6th October 2018 at 06:13.
Iím in Peterborough... I still have yet to make it to alganquin park ... Emily park isnít that great ... try silent lake next time ... itís not too out of the way ... and watch out for the pick ups in the kawarthas ... they donít care for the bikes :/ 507 highway is famous around here ...
If you pass thorough here again let me know ... come to think of it ... would be nice to organize some sort of yearly ontario group rides of the NC family !
I'm kicking myself that I didn't reread my trip report from last year & get in touch with you. I would be up for a group ride or weekend camping event.